I thought I would share a few things I have learned since I started playing in this division and War Thunder in general.
1. When you enter War Thunder, make sure to click on the chat icon to the left of the "Start Battle" button to open the chat window. In the chat window at the bottom, type "/join AOD" capitals required. This will make sure you are in the AOD chat in War Thunder so that others can see you and invite you to games.
2. At the bottom middle of the screen there is an icon called "Presets". If you click on it, you can add several different quick change menu items to the bottom of the screen. I recommend no more than 5 as more than that does not work so well. You can set presets for both aircraft and tanks. I recommend you pick a few such as USA 1.7, USA 2.7 and USA 3.7 for example and fill them up with the appropriate planes. AOD players like to group up and we need to match the player with the lowest level battle rating so having presets can make this very quick and painless. The presets take a bit of getting used to so just ask me if you are having issues. I ran into them all I am sure.
3. Instructor Settings - by default there are a few settings that attempt to help you play the game and keep you alive. While there may be some value in the settings, they will quickly become troublesome to all pilots so should be set to no. The settings can be found in the Menu / Controls drop down list. Click on the Instructor tab and set the three values to no. Having the first setting on makes high speed landing on airfields very challenging. Having the second setting on may cause your landing gear to be lifted when you do not want them up. Having the third setting on may cause your speed to be automatically increased when you are trying to perform a stall maneuver and thus prevent you from performing it.
3. Key Bindings - After playing War Thunder for a while I started to have problems with killing players because I was leveling up my planes to a point where I was running into the more skilled and seasoned players. This was somewhat frustrating for me because I went from getting a lot of kills to not being able to kill anything. After watching a lot of videos and play tactics, I decided that I needed to remap my keyboard buttons and fine tune some settings. By default, the key bindings for pitch axis are in a location that pretty much prevents the user of a mouse and keyboard from using them. These buttons are very important when flying against better players. Changing these buttons means a few other buttons also should probably be changed. Here are my recommendations, however you need to find the keys that are right for you. The settings are in Menu / Controls on the Basic tab making sure the Mouse Aim tab is selected.
Pitch Axis: Down W Up S
Hold Throttle for WEP: No
Mouse Wheel (aircraft): Throttle Axis
If you have problems shaking the mouse like I do when pressing the mouse fire button, change the fire button to space bar and the bombs to shift.
The sooner you remap the keys the easier it will be to get used to them. I waited a while before remapping my keys and it became very difficult for me to fly once I made the changes for about a week of intense flying.
Also, as you level up you will want to learn "Energy Flying" or boom and zoom flying as most people call it along with normal dog fighting. Energy Fighting is very important and will make you much more successful especially with planes that do not maneuver very well. It can also help with hitting the target more often although you will like get less kills overall at least for a while.
For those of you who are not familiar with this information, I hope you find it helpful. If you have any questions or need clarification just ask me.